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MUSIC AGENDA: Building a Team

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

What's on today's agenda?


Every artist needs a team at some time during their career. Either at the very beginning or after you have established some traction in your journey. The truth is, as much as you may want to do everything on your own, it is impossible for you to have the time to do everything yourself.

That’s when you bring in a team. Team members can have specific roles and responsibilities to enhance your career and, most of all, free up your time so you can continue being the best professional you can be.

Building a Team

Building a team as an independent artist can be very challenging, to say the least. There is a lot to consider when adding someone to your team. Choosing the right people you want on your team is essential, as these are the people you are trusting with handling aspects of your career.

To figure out how to build a team, let’s set our artist hat aside and put on our CEO cap. Remember, you’re the CEO of your career, and everyone that you bring on to your team is, in a way, a person you have hired. With that said, there are some things you should ask yourself before hiring anyone to your team. So, let’s jump into the lesson to figure out what you should know when building a team.

Determine Your Needs

You first will need to determine your needs. Different music professionals have different specialties in working in the music industry. You want to find someone that can provide exactly what you’re looking for and is willing to do it. Determining your needs will help you narrow down your search. Take the time to define what you’re looking for and what you would like to focus on?

Here’s some help. Try these questions go on for size:

  1. Where do you want to go with your career? What’s your goal?

  2. Do you want to place more attention on the recording? Producing? Engineering? Performing? Licensing music?

  3. Do you want to focus on more personal appearances?

  4. Do you want to spend more time writing songs?

  5. Do you want to do all of the above?

The answers to the above questions will help you define what type of help you need on your team. Depending on what you want to focus on may reveal who you need and precisely who you don’t need at the moment.

Who Is Needed On A Successful Team?

Before you decide who you’re going to want, you should determine what professional character you wish to add to your team. You have to set the standard. These are the people you’ll be around and talk to regarding essential aspects of your career. The character of the people you’re going to want are people that are:

  • Capable

  • Committed

  • Responsible

  • Trustworthy

  • Communicative

You’re going to want capable people. What I mean by capable is people that have the knowledge and willingness to get results. You also want this person to be enthusiastic and self-motivated about their role. There’s almost nothing worse than putting someone in a position where they feel forced to do something they can’t get excited about.

You’re going to need people that are committed to their tasks. These people want to have a sense of urgency and deviation to completing the task as prescribed. You want the most committed to finding every way possible to deliver the results, legally, of course.

You’re going to want people that are responsible. What I mean by responsible is a person that understands their duties and embraces their role as a member of your team. This person isn’t passing the buck to someone else. Instead, they will take full responsibility even when it doesn’t favor them.

You’re going to want trustworthy people. You want to trust people to get a task done and uphold integrity that you all agree with. This trusted person needs to know what they’re good at and not good at and be honest with you about it. Surround yourself with people that you can trust.

Lastly, your team members must be big on communication. Having excellent communication with your team members keeps everyone on the same page and keeps up the team’s morale. When team members feel like they are being heard and action is being taken based on their feedback, more tends to get done. As a result, your team members tend to work harder, as they feel valued. For you, you’re witnessing their value in keeping you in the loop, and you’re reaping the benefits of their efforts.

Of course, you should consider more characteristics, which will be up to you to define. But, remember, you’re setting the standard and working within those standards to become a high-caliber music professional.

Make a List of All Things You Do

If you still don’t know what team member you want to hire, then take a look at the following questions and make a list:

  • What tasks am I doing?

  • What tasks are taking up most of my time?

  • What tasks are taking up the least of my time?

  • Look at each task and ask yourself, am I good at these tasks?

  • Could I get someone else to do this task better than me?

  • What relationships do I have that can be leveraged to do this task?

  • Can I afford to hire someone to handle this task?

Making a list allows you to see your system and your processes in expanded form. Here are some aspects of an organization that you can look into in your own system/organization:

  • Production (How your product or service is made)

  • Administration (Paperwork, copyrights, filings, etc.)

  • Human Resources (Hiring, team morale, etc.)

  • Branding (Brand identity and how it looks to the world, etc/)

  • Marketing (Promotion, how you get your message out, etc.)

  • Product (Music, productions, services, performances, pricing, cost, etc.)

  • Finances (Accounting, revenue, expenses, debt, taxes, etc.)

  • Service Department (Customer service, FAQs, refunds, transactions, etc.)

  • Research & Development (Brainstorming ideas, products, how to create them, etc.)

  • Purchasing (Vendors, services you buy from, etc.)

  • Legal (Law compliances, contracts & agreements, partnerships, etc.)

Final Note

You may or may not have a functional team of people who handle many tasks on your behalf. If you don’t, a good practice when building a team is to look at your system. Your system is made of a set of processes that you run to get specific results for your professional career. It could be how you gain followers or generate new clients. It could also be how you calculate your taxes, book your shows, or register your copyrights. As much as you have going on as a music professional, it can be overwhelming to be doing everything yourself. Having other people handle some of the tasks you take on can be precisely what you need to help you focus on other important matters and grow your career.


  1. Determine your needs first

  2. Set your own standards

  3. Define the character you want around you

  4. Make a list of all the things you do

  5. Review every process of your system and look for areas to improve itThat's all I have for today, but go back and relisten to this episode if you didn't get all of the terms right away. Additionally, in writing, I post this episode on my blog, so check that out by clicking the link in the description.

Shaheim Kellum

F I V E R R Music Services

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